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It can be challenging to maintain naturally curly or coiled hair. Curly, thick hair is more susceptible to breakage and drying than other hair types. With the proper hair care routine and products, however, you can maintain your curls and keep them looking healthy.

These tips from board-certified dermatologists will help you care for your curly hair.

  • Only shampoo your hair as needed. Too much washing can cause curly hair to become frizzy and dry. It is optional to wash thick, curly hair daily or weekly. You should wash your hair every 2 to 3 months for optimum scalp and hair care. Wash your hair in sections if it is thick or long to avoid damage. Select a moisturizing hair shampoo explicitly formulated for curly or wavy hair. Consider using a clarifying conditioner before moisturizing shampoo if you usually style your hair with creams, gels, oils, or pomades. Use a shower cap to preserve your hair in between washes.
  • Curly or wavy hair tends to be drier. Condition all of your hair, not just the ends, to keep it moisturized. After washing your hair, apply a thick conditioner. After you’ve finished conditioning and washing your hair, use oil or leave-in to help moisturize. You can apply conditioner to your hair if it is scorched or you are having trouble detangling it before shampooing. It would help to look for conditioners containing ingredients like argan oil, glycerin, or fatty alcohols such as cetyl and stearyl.
  • It would help if you took care of your scalp. An excessive amount of oil can cause dandruff. However, dandruff shampoo can dry your hair. Anti-dandruff products should only be applied to the scalp. Allow it to rest for two to ten minutes or as specified on the packaging before rinsing. Use a moisturizing hair shampoo to wash the rest of your head. A board-certified dermatologist can prescribe medication to treat dandruff.
  • Detangle hair. Curly locks tend to knot easily. Detangle your hair between washes by wetting your hair and applying a leave-in conditioning product. Then, detangle with your fingers or a brush or comb designed for coily or curly hair. Detangling is easier if you work in sections. Avoid brushing hair when it is still dry to prevent frizzing and breakage. Detangle your hair while you are washing it.
  • Curly hair can be dried out by the sun and heat. Cover up with a wide-brimmed hat to protect your curls. Also, keep your hair moisturized.
  • Take care of your hair when you sleep. You can braid your hair or pull it into a loose bun (like a pineapple) to keep your curls intact and reduce friction with your pillowcase. Friction can cause your hair to become frizzy.


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Bonnie J. Sung

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